TORTS II OUTLINE – Moore – Spring 2004

 

I.                   VL – there is L b/c there is a r’ship b/w 2 parties and b/c of act by 2d party, (s) is L – not based on fault – wrong imputed based on that r’ship.

a.       CL – required direct command by master à implied commands (ask if EE’s actions are in furtherance of ERs benefits/business)

b.      Lundberg:  an EE’s negligence will be imputed to ER, if EE was acting w/in scope of employment at the time the negligent conduct occurred.

                                                               i.      KEY:  scope of employment

1.      Driving to and from work is not in SOE

2.      EXCEPTION:  EE using his own car acting n SOE (in furtherance of ER’s business) is driving from his last appt.

3.      MAJ – rt of control/SOE

4.      MIN/Cardozo – if ER creates necessity for travel, he is in SOE, even though he is serving a personal purpose at the same time

a.       Ask if conduct is in furtherance of duties owed to ER and if ER could be exercising control over EE. 

c.       Fruit v. Schreiner:  A salesman attending a convention paid for by his ER may be acting w/in SOE while driving back to hotel from a bar in the city where the convention is being held. 

d.      PP

                                                               i.      deep pockets of ER – basis for recovery

                                                             ii.      spread costs (to buyers)

                                                            iii.      ER can buy insurance

                                                           iv.      ERs cannot control EEs as directly as they could in past (hiring, etc.)

                                                             v.      ERs assume the risk of using a 3d party to do your work

                                                           vi.      Enterprise theory – view of EE and ER as one unit

1.      Look at venture they enter into – so ER benefited or would have benefited from EEs acts b/4 accident

2.      If ER negligently hired EE, that would be negligence, not VL.

                                                          vii.      The law protects he is least able to protect himself

e.       Detour & frolic – if ER is doing own errands, on company time, no VL.

f.        ITs – an ER may be held L for ITs of EE, when EE’s ITs are rzbly related to EE’s employment & are therefore w/in SOE. 

                                                               i.      When EE’s ITs are with purely personal motives, he ahs departed from SOE and ER is not L.

g.       Murrell v. Goertz:  ICs – no VL for IC (one who engaged in service for (s) else, but is free from control and direction of ER. 

                                                               i.      EXCEPTIONS:

1.      In the case of a non-delegable duty, person upon whom the duty is imposed is L for IC’s actions in negligently performing that duty (Maloney v. Ruth)

h.       Popejoy v. Steinle:  JE­ – VL if parties acting in JE.

                                                               i.      4 parts to JE:

1.      agreement, exp/imp, among members of a group

2.      to act for a common purpose to be carried out by the group

3.      a community of pecuniary interest in that purpose

4.       an equal right of  control

i.         Shuck v. Means:  BAILMENTS - under many state statutes, the owner of an automobile, who is BR, is VL for the conduct of the BE when driving the automobile with the BR’s permission.

                                                               i.      Consent can spread to (s) not given express consent (subpermittee)

                                                             ii.      Family purpose doctrine – if child using car for family purpose, then VL to parents

1.      Omnibus Clause – clause in insurance policy extending coverage to any member of family or w/BR’s permission

                                                            iii.      Negligent Entrustment – if (s) entrusts car to (s) w/ known bad driving history, L can be imputed

                                                           iv.      CL – BR not L for acts of BE à statutes spread L (PP:  to give remedy for a wrong)

j.        Smalich v. Westfall:  CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCEП is barred from recovery if П, through VL, could be held liable as a Δ in master/servant and JE r’ships

                                                               i.      A driver’s negligence will not be imputed to a passenger, unless the r’ship b/w them is such that the passenger would be VL as a Δ for driver’s negligence.

                                                             ii.      Owner-passenger/driver r’ship is not enough for VL

II.                SL – Δ must pay damages although Δ was acted neither intentionally nor negligently

a.       ICs – non delegable duties??? (See notes on 1.26)

b.      Animals:  L upon those who keep, possess, or harbor the animal, not just the owner.

                                                               i.      TRESPASSING ANIMAL RULE:  CL & East US:  O L when animal trespasses (cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, goats, errant fowl; NOT dogs, cats – no value, hard to confine)

1.      EXCEPTION:  straying from a highway on which they were lawfully being driven (necessity of getting animals to market) – only first property

2.      West US – rejected CL rule

a.       Fencing out statutes – if П fenced his land properly, there was SL when the animals broke thru the fence

b.      Fencing in statutes – O must fence in animals or otherwise restrain them, if not O is SL

                                                             ii.      FN RULE: CL & MAJ:  O or Possessor of a FN was subject to SL if animals injured anyone

1.      Customs of community determine FN

                                                            iii.      DOMESTICATED ANIMALS RULE:  CL:  owner of DA (cat, dog, sheep or horse) was SL only if O knew or had reason to know that animals had VP

a.       VP abnormal to its class

c.       ADAs:  no fault in activities, but b/c so dangerous, SL applies

                                                               i.      Rylands v. Fletcher:  one may be held liable for damages caused by non-natural use of the land, even if here is no negligence on the part of the land-owner which causes the damage

1.      If you bring non-natural thing onto your land, and keep it their, you are responsible for it escaping

2.      EXCEPTIONS:

a.       vis major (e.g. Golden v. Amory below)

b.      Пs fault (contributory negligence)

                                                             ii.      Bridges v. Kentucky Stone:  2 rules

1.      When one stores dynamite, in a storage site, far from where the activity occurs, it is not necessarily deemed to be ADA.

2.      П must prove that the Δ’s engaging in ADA is the pxcx of the damage or loss

                                                            iii.      American Harbor Belt RR v. American Cyanamid:  it’s not the substance that is ADA, but it becomes dangerous when it is handled or used in some way after it leaves the mfr’s premises; no SL even if the danger is foreseeable. 

1.      could be a negligence c/a – but not preventable by any standard of care

                                                           iv.      Foster v. Preston Mill:  under SL, one may recover for only the type of harm that makes the activity UH or AD and therefore subject to SL

1.      PP:  right to use & enjoy land VS. limiting responsibility for extraordinary & unusual consequences

d.      DEFENSES TO SL:

                                                               i.      Golden v. Amory: one will not be able to recover in SL if the harm is caused by an unforeseeable event; vis major à no SL

                                                             ii.      Sandy v. Bushy:  Contributory negligence is NOT a defense, but ASS/RISK is (if prove 1. S had knowledge of risk and 2. S voluntarily placed himself in way of harm)

1.      PP:  court doesn’t want to help person who knows their animal is vicious – issue of fairness – not letting wrong-doer go unpunished

III.             PL – L of a mfr, seller, or other supplier of chattels, to one w/ whom he is not in privity of K, who suffers physical harm caused by the chattel:  through mfr’s negligence of warranty

a.       5 THEORIES TO RECOVERY – more thorough covering below

                                                               i.      Negligence: same as b/4 except for causation prong

1.      NEED: 

a.       conduct on part of mfr

b.      injury or harm to Пs person or property

å      accident itself

å      product changes

å      R.I.L.

c.       causation b/w behavior and injury

å      limited by 4Cability

2.      Learned Hand Theory:  B <PL à L (economic argument – risk utility)

                                                             ii.      Br/wty – exp/imp

1.      express wtys:  no disclaimer, no ads

a.       representation of fact

b.      basis of bargain

2.      implied wtys

a.       merchantability

å      seller is a merchant

å      fit for ordinary purpose

b.      fitness for a particular purpose

c.       disclaimers

å      conspicuousness

å      “as is” disclaimers

3.      stopped – see notes from 2.4.2004 – ALSO, go thru SL and VL reviews

                                                            iii.      SL – L w/out fault

1.      402A – seller of product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to user/consumer is subject to L for physical harm to ultimate user/consumer or his property

2.      Greenman – mfr is SL when an article he places on the market, knowing it is to be used w/o inspection for defects, that causes injury

                                                           iv.      Misrepresentation

1.      402B

a.       not puffing

b.      “to the public” – not on showroom

c.       П must prove:

å      Justifiable reliance – knowledge

å      Injury

                                                             v.      Fraudulent Misrepresentation – truth or not telling it, makes c/a

b.      FAILURE TO WARN THEORY

                                                               i.      FIND these 4 things:

1.      Mismanufacture – it has bee improperly mfr’d; somewhere along the line the mfr did not put it together well

2.      Defect of design – entire line was dangerous

3.      Failure to give adequate warning

4.      Failure to give proper instruction

                                                             ii.      Negl – if harm w/out warnings is significant or unrzbl – harm & probability against cost to warn

                                                            iii.      SL – product that reasonable man wouldn’t have put in soc if he knew of harmful character

                                                           iv.      Br/wty – 4Cable danger – at time of sale

c.       DEFENSES

                                                               i.      Warning (req’t: seller has duty that if not subject of timely and adequate notice, expose purchaser, user or bystander to an unrzbl risk/harm)

                                                             ii.      no warning of sure 3d arty or buyer will give info to user

1.      Exception:  RXs

2.      NSSA – Nature of risk, Severity, Scope, means of Avoidance

                                                            iii.      Пs contr/negl – not in jrds w/ comp. fault (no failure to discover defect)

                                                           iv.      Пs ass/risk – subjective knowledge

                                                             v.      Misuse (àpxcx—no c/a)

1.      must be substantial

                                                           vi.      comp. fault – see ii. Above

d.      NEGLIGENCE

                                                               i.      MacPherson Buick (wheel) – MAJ rule now

1.      Пs negl. Remedy against mfr w/o regard to privity of K.

2.      finished products seller’s responsibility for design and mfrg integrity of component parts

3.      mfr’s duty to conduct reasonable and necessary tests on product before its introduction into commerce.

e.       STRICT LIABILITY – 402A

                                                               i.      Greenman v. Yuba

1.      a mfr is SL is tort when an article he places on the market, knowing that it is to be sued w/o inspection for defects, proves to have a defect that causes injury to a human being.

2.      П can recover against mfr w/o proof of fault if:

a.       Defect product

b.      Product used in manner it was intended to be used

c.       П injured as result of defect

d.      Knowledge by mfr that product would be used w/o inspection for defects

3.      PP – cost borne by mfr, rather than by the injured party who is powerless to protect himself.

                                                             ii.      402A

1.      seller of product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to user/consumer is subject to L for physical harm to ultimate user/consumer or his property IF:

a.       seller is engaged in business of selling such product

b.      AND expected to & does reach user w/o substantial changes in condition

2.      APPLIES EVEN THOUGH

a.       All possible care exercised (hence SL, not negligence)

b.      AND no privity/K

c.       Mfr has ability to 4C some hazards

å      The ability to guard against them

å      The ability to insure against the risk of injury and spread cost of risk avoidance to customers

                                                            iii.      Risk/utility test

1.      only rzbly safe products should be marketed (utility > risk)

                                                           iv.      FROM HER REVIEW (4/22)

1.      §402 A: mfr defect—if it departs from its intended design—SL at its truest sense

2.      this is inadvertent defects

3.      don’t have to show carelessness—is true SL don’t have to prove any of that

4.      allows you to sue the mfr w/o any negligence considerations

f.        PRODUCT DEFECTIVENESS (R.3d)

                                                               i.      L of commercial seller or distributor for harm caused by defective products

1.      one engaged in the business of selling or otherwise distributing products who sells or distributes a defective product is subject to L for harm to persons or property caused by the defect

2.      a product is defective when, at time of sale or distribution, it contains a mfr defect, is defective in design, or is defective b/c of inadeq instructions or warnings

                                                             ii.      Definition of defects

1.      mfr defect – product departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product

2.      design defect – when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design by seller, distributor, or predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and the omission of the alternative design renders the product not unrzbly safe

a.       Rix – use negligence std – weigh risk of injury against cost of safer designs

å      Risk/utility factors:

1.      utility of product to the general public and to the specific user

2.      the likelihood it will cause injury

3.      potential for designing a safer product that is functional/rzbly priced

4.      availability of a safer design

5.      Пs ability to avoid harm by safer use of the product

6.      the degree of awareness of the product’s danger which can be attributed to П

7.      mfr’s ability to spread cost related improving safety design. STOPPED

b.      From Moore’s review (4/22)

å      4Cable risks of harm

å      alternative design, if you had used that you would have been able to avoid the risk

å      consumer expectation test is NOT used

å      Risk utility test is used

3.      defect b/c of inad instruction/warning – when the 4Cable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by providing reasonable instructions or warnings by the seller, other distributor, or a predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and omission of the instruction or warning renders the product unrzbly safe.

                                                            iii.      Only 3 types on SPL under 402A

1.      mfr defect – something went wrong with a few units

2.      design defect – every unit is defective

3.      marketing defect – failure to warn or adequately warn

                                                           iv.      Rix – a mfr is SL if it sells a product in  a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous to the consumer and it causes injury

1.      product must be defective when sold;

2.      it must be expected to and actually reach the consumer w/out substantial change in the defective condition

3.      condition is the pxcx of the injury

g.       MISC FROM MOORE’S REVIEW ON 4/22

Warning:

·        Restatement 2nd:  based on the type of the injury (neg, etc)

·        Restatement 3rd: based on the type the defect (design, mfr, warning, mrktg); supposedly makes it easier; removes negligence type

o       Product is defective b/c of inadequate warnings when the risk could have been avoided

o       Not the same as 402A 2nd –b/c here was it reasonable under the circumstances

o       Consider

§         the content of the warning,

§         comprehensiveness,

§         content of the expression(was it in bold or embedded in the warning itself)

§         Who do you expect to reach from with that warning

§         Broad Test: no defect as long as the prescription drug is therapeutic for any class of patients to prompt a reasonable health care provider to prescribe the drug to prompt the dr to give reasonable warning for the use of the product—relieves the mfr

·        Intermediary doesn’t work if the mfr knows that the healthcare provider would be unable to give the risks of the product

§         This is the majority—use of comparative negligence as an affirmative defense; recognizes that if the P could have reduced the harm to him or herself the way it is supposed to be—then this must be weighed alongside the mfr

·        Can reduce the amt of recovery for the P’s failure to reduce the harm to him or herself

·        Doesn’t absolve the mfr of all liability

 

402 B:

·        Modern manifestation of misrepresentation

·        Looks at someone who is engaged in selling advertising or makes something available the public--the product and what is critical is that

o       Msut be a represenatin of material fact

o       Subj to L for harm to the consumer who justifiably relies on that representation

·        If you rely with or w/o privity, and you advertise it wrongly—no need to show negligence, fraud, privity

·        Critical: has to be a misrepresentation of a material fact and there must be justifiable reliance

·        Establishing duty and breach of that duty

·        Baxter case

·        Misrepresentation can be for both products L and for reasonable reliance of some information

·        Can’t skirt over a reasonable reliance—puffing doesn’t count, you can give in your 2 cents as long as not major

·        PL—proper there is no arg that the product is defective,

o       Ex: truck can carry 500 lbs but advertisement says 1000 lbs (is wrong)

§         Here misrep of a material fact

·        No need for reliance in the purchaser (direct) not an issue of privity so only has to be someone that expect to use the product

·        You can make stmts, advertise, etc.—anything that can cause misrep

·        Key in quiz: misrepàshould have focused as a major concern (father on the scooter but really only for children)

·        When talking about material facts, it can’t be an indirect nondescript misrep but has to be the quality of the thing—ct requires this

·        Justifiable reliance on a material fact is not puffing

·        Just another avenue of recovery

IV.              NUISANCE

a.       Rule: an invasion which arises to the level of a private nuisance may be either intentional or unintentional and an intentional invasion resulting in injury to others gives rise to liability regardless of the degree of care or skill exercised to avoid the injury

b.      Public (PBN): the unreasonable interference of a right common to the general public; including activities that injure the health, safety, morals, and comfort of the public. The law envisions that only public officials can bring these claims

                                                               i.      Factors of Public:

1.      The activity is not customarily suited to the area

2.      It causes observable affects that most would find disagreeable whether or not they harm the Π

3.      There are other activities or methods which would cause less disturbance

4.      The activity is of little value to the Δ

5.      The activity is unimportant to society

6.      The Δ activity began after the Π began the present use of their land

c.       Private (PVN): wrongful interference of the enjoyment of the use of the land of another

                                                               i.      FACTORS:

1.      The Π has to prove that his loss is financially large

2.      Π has to prove that there is observable physical damages to their premises

3.      Π on the land suffers observable mental harm or anguish

4.      Π must prove that it would be costly or difficult for the Π to avoid the harm

5.      Harm is of long duration or unremitting

6.      Coming to the nuisance: consider if Π has come to the nuisance

                                                             ii.      Philly v. Hercules

1.      Rule: a PVN cause of action is designed to protect neighbors to the nuisance not owners of the nuisance even where the owner of a nuisance did not create it

2.      Rule: in an individual claim for a PVN pecuniary harm under the Restatement 2nd § 821(2)(c)(2) may qualify as harm different in kind from that suffered by the general public

3.      Rule: to support a successful PBN claim the pecuniary ham must have been suffered as a result of ones exercise of a right common to the general public

4.      Key: we do engage in allocations of risk when we transfer property and caveat emptor still applies in law

                                                            iii.      Morgan v. High Penn Oil

1.      Rule: a lawful enterprise cannot be a nuisance per se or one at law, but it can become a nuisance per accidens or one in fact without being construed or operated in a negligent manner

2.      Rule: an invasion which arises to the level of a PVN may be either intentional or unintentional and an intentional invasion resulting in injury to others gives rise to liability regardless of the degree of care or skill exercised to avoid the injury

                                                           iv.      Winget v. Winn-Dixie

1.      Rule: operating even a lawful business can become a nuisance if it interferes with the health, safety, or comfort of the neighbors or with their right to enjoy their land

                                                             v.      Spur Industries v. Del Webb

1.      Rule: you cannot bar a Π from recovery simply b/c they came to the nuisance

2.      Key: steps away from the traditional rule to the extent that the personal activity is more important than the conducting of the business so the business is shut down

d.      Mixed: combo, have to have an injury different in kind than the general public to show that the claim could not just be brought by a public official

e.       Average Reciprocity of Advantage: while you are forced to give up some rights you do not want to give up, society is better off as a whole and so are you by giving up those rights

f.        TEST – balance the utility of the conduct against the serious nature of the interference

g.       4 Ways to Get a Nuisance:

                                                               i.      Negligence

                                                             ii.      Intentional

                                                            iii.      Reckless

                                                           iv.      Ultra Hazardous

                                                             v.      Note (4)

1.      tell the Π that the Π may get an injunction, here the court will find that Δ conduct is unreasonable and that means that it causes more harm than good and the court concludes that the behavior causes substantial harm to the Π

2.      Π can get damages but no injunction, here the court will find that the Δ conduct is reasonable meaning that it causes more social good than harm and that means the conduct should be allowed to go forward but the court also finds that the harm is substantial to the Π and it would be unfair to make the Π bear the burden of that conduct

3.      The court will find that Π is entitled to no injunction. They find that the harm is not substantial or they find that the Δ conduct is more socially useful than harmful and that it is not unfair to impose the burden of that activity on the Π. The imposition of damages would put the Δ out of business and avoiding this result is more important than avoiding the harm to the Π

4.      Courts allow the Π to purchase or buy an injunction. The Δ conduct causes more harm than good but that it is unfair to impose the burden of shutting down the Δ business on the Δ

h.       NOTES

                                                               i.      Defenses

1.      Where there is an intentional PVN, contributory negligence is not a defense

2.      If you are looking at negligence then CN does apply to mitigate down the damages

3.      When based on SL, CN of Π failing to discover the danger is not a defense

4.      If Π discovers the danger and deliberately proceeds to encounter it his CN will effect his recovery

                                                             ii.      Self Help: dangerous b/c people can go to far, but if you are going to abate the nuisance then you have the right to use reasonable force, the only person who can use the force is the person who is harmed by the nuisance

                                                            iii.      Anticipatory nuisance: provides the means of preventing an activity that has a high probability of being a nuisance.

1.      Used in nuisance per se cases

2.      Used in situations were the harm is extremely difficult if not impossible to remedy

                                                           iv.      Two advantages are:

1.      Help the Π by preventing the harm before it occurs

2.      Prevent economic waste by a Δ b/c it prevent him from expending financial and other resources to conduct an activity that will most likely be prohibited

V.                 DEFAMATION – See Fig. 1.a

a.       DON’T FORGET:

                                                               i.      Average reciprocity of advantage arg

                                                             ii.      1AM protection

                                                            iii.      self-censorship

                                                           iv.      free exchange in marketplace of ideas (robust discussion, etc)

1.      chilling effect

b.      Nature of Defamatory Communication

                                                               i.      Interpretation: if there is only one interpretation then the judge decides the impact of the statement; if there is more than one then it if for the jury to decide

                                                             ii.      Standard: words that tend to expose the Π to hatred, ridicule, distrust, contempt, obloquy; now includes shunned and avoided

                                                            iii.      Considerations:

1.      the audience

2.      circumstances surrounding what was being said

3.      by whom it might be read and interpreted

c.       Libel & Slander

                                                               i.      Slander: spoken and often requires a showing of special damages (SSS)

1.      CL slander actionable if you could show special damages of pecuniary harm

                                                             ii.      Belli v. Orlando Daily Newspapers

1.      Rule: the judge has the task of deciding whether the pleading is capable of defamatory meaning, the jury has the job of deciding whether the material should be regarded as defamatory. The gatekeeper is the judge

2.      Key: we are not looking at the hateful words, we are looking at the effect of the words on the person and on his reputation which prevents him from engaging in social discourse

3.      Test for Libel:

a.       Has to be false and privileged communications

b.      It has to be in writing

c.       Has to expose someone to ridicule, distrust, hatred, contempt

d.      Tendency to injure me in office, reputation, or employment

e.       If the publication is false and it is not privileged the harm has to be the natural and probable consequences that would result

                                                            iii.      Grant v. Readers Digest

1.      Rule: the standard for determining whether a statement is libelous is not whether the majority of people or “right thinking” view it as such, instead according to learned hand it is if some people find it libelous even if the group is a “wrong thinking” group or the minority

2.      Rule: when the statement is made if that minority group person could take that statement and shun the person for what the statement expresses then the statement will be libelous

3.      Pleading:

a.       Clear meaning: when you are talking about the meaning of language that is clear on its face and the language is in fact clear on its face then the Π has to prove that the words themselves were defamatory and that you are pleading that these words were communicated to a 3rd party

b.      Ambiguous meaning:

å      1st: have to plead the defamatory words

å      2nd: have to show publication or communication to a 3rd party

å      3rd: have to look at the extrinsic facts to understand if the meaning of the statement was made to defame the Π (this is known as inducement)

å      4th: must be a formal allegation that the words were spoken concerning the Π

å      5th: must be a particular defamatory meaning meant by the words (this is called innuendo)

å      6th: show that there are some special damages

c.       Key: have to have 4 and 5 together, so that they are read in light of the spoken facts and what you pleaded, they have to come together to have someone believe that something defamatory was said

                                                           iv.      Neiman Marcus v. Lait – must be able to show that YOU are a person in the group defamed. 

                                                             v.      Bindrim v. Mitchell

1.      Rule:  for П to establish a c/a for libel, he must show that a reasonable person who read publication could identify the statement as being about the П.

2.      Rule:  It isn’t important that all the readers identify the statement as being about the П – it's important that only one reader does so. 

                                                           vi.      Shor v. Billingsley

1.      ad-libbing (not form script) à libel

2.      read from written transcript à libel

3.      speak in gym à slander

4.      defamation by radio à libel

                                                          vii.      Terwilliger v. Wands – CAUSATION

1.      Rule: if the slanderous statement is not actionable per se – meaning  facially damaging to П – then it is necessary that the П prove (plead and prove) some particular damages happened

2.      Rule:  the statement has to be disparaging to the Пs character and the special damage must flow from the damage to Пs character

                                                        viii.      Slander per se (BLIS)

1.      Business, trade, profession of office – likely to affect your office or profession and some temporal damages that come with that. 

2.      Loathsome disease – people recognize you to be excluded from society (VD, leprosy – today, AIDS)

3.      Imputation of major crime – crime must be one of moral turpitude

4.      Sexual misconduct

                                                           ix.      NY Times – PF/PO

1.      Rule: The © won’t allow public officials to recover for publication of defamatory comment unless he can prove AM (knowledge or reckless disregard)

                                                             x.      St. Amant v. Thompson

1.      Rule:  standard for establishing malice is whether the speaker in fact entertained serious doubt as to the truth of his publication

a.       Publication with such doubt shows reckless disregard for the truth and demonstrates AM

2.      Rule:  a publisher can’t solely rely on his belief that the statement was true.

a.       PP:  you cannot shut your eyes to the existence of given facts

3.      Rule:  the fact finder must determine whether the publication was indeed made in GF

4.      Standard being applied:  high degree of awareness of probability of falsity

a.       NOT OBJECTIVE!!!

5.      PP:  self-censorship (you have to give up some rights to be in society)

                                                           xi.      Mason v. New Yorker Mag

1.      Rule:  to prove AM, П must show that Δ acted w/ knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for truth or falsity of the statement

2.      Rule:  deliberate alteration of the words spoken by П doesn't = knowledge of falsity unless alteration results in material change in meaning conveyed by original statement

3.      Rule:  using quotations to attribute words not in fact spoken is important to the inquiry of known falsity, but isn’t dispositive in every case

                                                          xii.      Gertz v. Robert Welch – falsity & fault

1.      private П, public concern à no P&P

2.      Rule:  that a newspaper or b’caster that publishes defamatory falsehood against another who is neither a public official or public figure, may be held to a lower std than the NY Times std of AM

3.      Rule:  that the state, so long as it doesn’t impose L w/out fault, may define for itself the appropriate std of L for a publisher or b’caster of defamatory falsehood that injures a private person

4.      Rule:  The state may not permit the recovery of presumed or punitive dgs unless L is based on knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of truth (AM)

5.      4 main points

a.       No AM needed for private citizen

b.      Rt/recovery of punitive dgs only w/ AM

c.       b/c of case, you may become a PF in a limited way

d.      AM or lower than AM are acceptable in ©al limits

                                                        xiii.      D&B v. Greenmoss

1.      private П, private concern à P&P okay

2.      Rule:  where you have matters of purely private concern, they receive less 1AM protection

3.      Rule:  a person can recover for P&P w/out showing of AM when statement doesn’t involve a matter of public concern

4.      KEY:  Δ is not media – so not same kind of protection

                                                        xiv.      Philly Newspapers v. Hepps

1.      Rule:  where you have a newspaper that publishes speech of public concern, than a private figure П can't recover dgs w/out also showing statements at issue are false

2.      Keys:

a.       In terms of proving falsity, BOP is on П

b.      Where you have a newspaper that publishes speech of a public concern, a private figure П cannot recover damages w/out showing that the statements at issue are false.

                                                         xv.      PFs/POs

1.      reasons we place burdens on PFs

a.       they have access to media

b.      they ass/risk of being such

2.      must be a publicly debated issue w/ 4Cable and substantial ramifications for non-participants

a.       once we know there’s a public controversy, then determine Пs role in that controversy that makes him a PF

3.      Rehnquist says ass/risk = biggest factor

4.      Voluntary PF:  5 factors

a.       He has access to channels of effective communication

b.      She voluntarily assumed the role of special prominence in public controversy

c.       Sought to influence the resolution of the controversy

d.      Controversy must exist b/4 publication of defamatory statement AND

e.       П retained PF status at time of the alleged information

5.      Involuntary PF – one who pursued the course of conduct from which is reasonably 4Cable that it will draw public interest. 

                                                        xvi.      Milikovich v. Lorain Journal

1.      Rule:  opinion does not receive an addt’l or absolute ©al protection and immunity for L for defamation

2.      Rule:  a statement on matters of public concern must be provable as false b/4 there can be L under the state defamation law where there is a media Δ

3.      Rule:  statements that cannot reasonably be interpreted as stating actual facts about a person are protected

4.      Rule:  where a statement of opinion on matters of public concern reasonably imply false and defamatory facts regarding a PO or PF, the П must show AM

5.      Rule:  where the statement involves a private figure, public concern, under Gertz, П has to show that false connotation was made w/ some level of falsity

d.      Defenses

                                                               i.      TRUTH – affirmative defense – only have to prove substantially true (but more than showing S has bad character)

                                                             ii.      OPINION

                                                            iii.      PRIVILEGE

e.       Privileges

                                                               i.      Absolute – judges, attys, juries, witnesses, admin proceeding – AS LONG AS RELATED

1.      П doesn't have a civil remedy, but may have a criminal remedy

                                                             ii.      Qualified

1.      Sindorf v. Jacron

a.       Rule:  publication of a defamatory statement may be conditionally privileged when it is fairly made by a person in the discharge of some public or private duty, whether legal or moral, and in the conduct of its own affairs it matters where his interests are concerned

b.      Rule:  any reasonable and appropriate method of publication may be adopted which fits the purpose of protecting a particular interest

c.       Rule:  Δ has BOP that there is a proper interest of duty that justifies publishing this statement

d.      Rule:  the privilege can be lost if the statement is improperly made and to determine whether or not that is correct – you look at all relevant circumstances

e.       Courts look at:

å      did you reasonably believe in that statement?

å      did you say more than you had to say in conveying info

å      was what you said unsolicited/volunteered?

å      did you make that communication in proper manner to proper parties?

1.      If voluntarily given à close scrutiny on what was done

f.        At CL, you were allowed to spread rumor

f.        Remedies

                                                               i.      Libel per se à CL presumed dgs

                                                             ii.      D&B à private party/private concern à P&P (w/out AM)

                                                            iii.      Slander à must show special dgs (MIPS – mental anguish & suffering, impairment of reputation, personal humiliation, and standing in communication)

                                                           iv.      Mitigation à MIN: if П provoked Δ, then mitigate dgs – Moore disagrees with this

                                                             v.      Doctrine of incremental harm (MIN) – try to figure out impact of defamation -0 look at state of Пs reputation once a non-actionable portion of statements and what he failed to plead – look at the big picture

                                                           vi.      Punitive dgs

1.      Gertz – need AM

2.      D&B – private П, private concern

                                                          vii.      Declaratory relief à П must show falsity & fault

                                                        viii.      Self help

VI.              INVASION OF PRIVACY

a.       4 TYPES OF INV/PRIV

                                                               i.      FALSE LIGHT (FL)– П must prove

1.      Δ published (x)

2.      Δ published false facts about П

3.      reasonable person would object to publication of these facts

                                                             ii.      INTRUSION UPON SECLUSION

1.      where one intrudes, whether physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or upon his private affairs or concerns is subject to L to the other for inv/priv if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person – there is a ZOP – a line you shouldn’t cross.

                                                            iii.      PUBLICATION OF PRIVATE FACTS/PUBLIC DISCOLUSRE OF PRIVATE FACTS

1.      one who gives publicitiy to a matter concerning the private life of another, is subject to L to another for the inv/priv if the matter publicized is the kind that:

a.       would be highly offensive to the reasonable person AND

b.      is not of legit public concern

2.      Req’d to prove 4 elements:

a.       There was publicity from publication

b.      Private facts

c.       Highly offensive to reasonable person

d.      Not of legit public concern

3.      П must show that item was publicized to a substantial number of people – and info has to be private.

                                                           iv.      APPROPRIATION OF (S)’S NAME OR LIKENESS

1.      П has a property right in his name/likeness/image/reputation/etc

2.      one who appropriates to his own use or benefit the name or likeness of another is subject to L for inv/priv

3.      KEY:  commercial use

b.      Flake v. Greensboro

                                                               i.      Rule:  unauthorized use of person’s photo in connection w/ an enterprise gives rise to a c/a for inv/priv

                                                             ii.      Court provides nominal dgs & injunctions  - libel needs special damages

c.       Pearson v. Dodd (MAJ)

                                                               i.      Rule:  Δ publisher, even where they know info has been illegally obtained, will not make them L for inv/priv

                                                             ii.      Rule:  it is a defense to claim of inv/priv that published matter is a public interest

                                                            iii.      If you use illegal means to procure information, it is actionable against those that procure, but if you simply take the documents (the media Δ), then no c/a

d.      Cox B’casting v. Cohn

                                                               i.      Rule:  truthful publications on matters of public record, even concerning private individuals, are protected by 1AM and are not subject to suit for inv/priv for public disclosure of private facts. 

                                                             ii.      Rule:  the tort of unwanted publication can’t reach the publication of information on public record.

                                                            iii.      Can pull the ave. rec. adv. argument

                                                           iv.      5 KEYS:

1.      begins debate about protection of rape victims

2.      looks at info that’s true but clearly harmful

3.      must show willful behavior of Δ – disclosure of private info that is offensive to reasonable person

4.      having name in record causes you to lose your right to privacy

5.      should true public facts receive AM protection?

e.       Cantrell v. Forest City Publishing

                                                               i.      Rule:  1AM requires that an action for FL inv/priv fue to false reports on matters of public interest, must show that Δ published reports with NY Time AM (known falsity or reckless disregard for the truth)

                                                             ii.      Keys

1.      if a tort mirrors defamation, then it’s going to share the same ©al constraints – can’t fall below ©al radar b/c you name a tort differently

a.       TX doesn’t recognize FL

f.        Hustler v. Falwell

                                                               i.      Offensive speech isn’t enough – even if ugly/vulgar, must have falsity

                                                             ii.      Keys

1.      allows you to explore other torts that come out of this case – Def & IIED

2.      gauge threshold – in terms of protection of ©al rights; ugly vile behavior still protected

3.      you have basic steps to make – identify palyer (PF/PO or private party), determine if speech is public interest/public concern – before deciding which std applies

a.       if PF/PO à conduct will probably be acceptable b/c it’s the thing that goes into the marketplace that allows for debate on these issues – court will consistently allow robust speech/attacks

b.      if private individual à p’lisher not protected

                                                            iii.      PPs for Δ

1.      Δ will always have 1AM arg for policy for him – b/c you’re looking at society needing the info and if his reports advances the interest of the community, he’ll be protected

2.      Looking at history and news, b/c courts find it hard to draw lien b/w the two, that kind of speak will always be protected (part historical, part newsworthy).  Social interest will prevail

3.      Even though media Δ is making profit, and in entertaining as well as right to report, the Δ will almost always win if he can argue that it’s not feasible for court to distinguish b/w news and entertainment.  Policy protects the speech. 

                                                           iv.      PPs for П

1.      Property interest – almost always win if П asserts appropriation

2.      Dignity claim as П – sometimes Δ will argue that it’s newsworthy and that outweighs dignity concern, but courts who are outraged at offensive nature of things Δ has done will find that embarrassing publication on confidential matters should NOT be protected

                                                             v.      Other countries’ views of right to privacy

1.      UK – uses human rights law to protect its people

a.       Protect individual & family rights

b.      Eur. Convention on Human Rights

2.      France – uses reasonable and common sense view of privacy

a.       Protecting an interest in human dignity

b.      Privacy law is grounded in fundamental values

3.      Germany – like US (but US is at least trying to strike the balance and has just gone astray)

a.       Courts want legislature to make laws about right to privacy BUT courts have no problems w/ being activist court w/ regard to freedom of speech

b.      So, court is willing to protect speech rights, but can’t handle tension b/w the two

VII.           CIVIL RIGHTS – rights based law

a.       Ashby v. White

                                                               i.      Rule:  where one has violated Пs CL right to vote, it requires a remedy at CL (ubi jus ibi remdium)

                                                             ii.      Rule:  a PO can be sued

b.      Camp v. Gregory

                                                               i.      Rule:  the custodial r’ship of the state with the victim will impose a duty under §1982 to the state to exercise protection over the physical welfare of the victim

                                                             ii.      Objective test

                                                            iii.      Keys

1.      when state responsible for person – 4Cability and reasonability are the issues

2.      no remedy b/c of immunity

3.      if you take custody of a kid & he’s in your possession, there is a heightened duty (kinda like insurer)

4.      qualified immunity for state actors

5.      better for state not to take the kid into custody

6.      heavy caseload is NO excuse

c.       Memphis Comm. School District v. Stachura

                                                               i.      Rule:  in an action under 1983, damages can’t be based on an abstract value of  a ©al right.  Must have actual dgs (this leads to deterrence)

VIII.        MISUSE OF LEGAL PROCESS

a.       3 BASIC CLAIMS

                                                               i.      MALICIOUS PROSECUTION (MP) – the wrongful criminal prosecution of an innocent person while acting in bad faith

1.      ELEMENTS

1.      institution of civil or criminal proceeding against the accused (Δ has to be responsible for either initiating the c/a or supporting continuation of legal process against the П, can also encourage someone else to bring a wrongful suit against the П – wrongful testimony against П would be evidence of malice, but not enough by itself).

2.      there has to be termination of the proceeding in the Пs favor (so, you have to wait until close of proceeding) only exception is if there is an ex parte proceeding.  Has to be equivalent of exoneration.  Failure to prosecute is not enough, but courts will look closely at Δ that dismisses the case (b/c it looks like he thinks he’s about to lose it).  Texas takes that position (see Davis v. City of San Antonio).  R.660 (d) if you abandon the case b/c you think Δ is innocent, that is termination in Δs favor (П in second suit).  If terminate b/c impossible to sue, that’s termination in favor of П (in second suit).

3.      absence of probable cause – even if П is found innocent, П must prove no reasonable basis for Δ to think П guilty, or that П was potentially civilly L.  R.662(c) – accuser must have subjective belief too.  Must have subjective and objective belief.

4.      malice – improper purpose.  Improper if you didn’t believe form outset that Δ was guilty or L.  don’t have to dislike them or have ill will towards them, you just do it with improper purpose/to harass them/cause them discomfort or embarrassment.  Even if you follow suit against a П, you can't use the suit to harass people.  Can’t use suit to extort money, etc.

5.      damages – economic consequences.  Recovery for damage to one’s reputation.  If you proceed w/ malice (which you have to to get claim) then you can get punitive dgs too.  Jury has a lot of discretion in this area. 

2.      Freidman v. Dozorc

a.       Rule:  a lawyer doesn’t have a duty to his client’s adversary to conduct a reasonable investigation prior to brining a claim

b.      PP:  floodgate of litigation

c.       ENGL Rule – 3 ways to get claim for MP:

å      Injury to one’s fame

å      Injury to one’s person or liberty

å      Injury to one’s property

                                                             ii.      MALICIOUS INSTITUTION OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS (MICP) – wrongful institution of a civil proceeding against a non-L person while acting in bad faith

1.      ELEMENTS – see above in MP

2.      Texas Skaggs

a.       ENGL Rule: limits types of claims a П could bring

å      П can only bring claims for MICP, if П proves special injury

å      Attys fees are given to winning party

b.      AMER Rule:  rejects ENGL – arguably the prevailing view

å      don’t have to show special injury

å      each party has to bear his own cost of litigating

c.       Rule:  if abandon a proceeding, or its impossible, then П has right to use those statements

d.      PP:  law is supposed to be used to protect the innocent, not the guilty (if jury gives NG, but you were and the evidence is there, then MO is no go for you)

3.      Grainger v. Hill

a.       KEY: must show more than frivolous lawsuit – must have improper purpose

b.      Spoliation – can’t destroy evidence in a case

å      Pending or probable civil litigation

å      Δ knows of pending litigation

å      Willful destruction of the evidence

å      Intent to interfere with the Пs prospective suit (hard to prove)

å      Causal r’ship b/w evidence destroyed & inability to proe your lawsuit

å      Demonstrable damages

                                                            iii.      ABUSE OF PROCESS (AP) – there is a misuse of a legal process including misuse of depositions, subpoenas, or property attachment devices.  The only way a П can prevail is by showing that Δ acted with improper purpose

b.      SOME KEYS:

                                                               i.      To prove absence of probable cause – prove that Δ didn’t have reasonable belief in truth of charges or that he himself knew that П wasn't guilty

                                                             ii.      To prove malice – you just have to prove that person proceeding with wrong or improper motive, or was motivated by a purpose other than bringing a guilty person to justice.

                                                            iii.      On damages – no objective guidelines to determine =ent of metnal pain, thus jury should have a lot of discretion in this area.

IX.              MISREPRESENTATION

a.       ELEMENTS – MISREP/FM

                                                               i.      a material misrep of a past or present fact

1.      can’t be opinion or puffing, or curbside discussion

                                                             ii.      must be scienter (guilty knowledge)

1.      Δ knew statement was false OR

2.      that he acted w/ reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity of that statement

3.      You make the statement without any belief in its truth. 

4.      SO, subjective lying

                                                            iii.      have to intend to induce reliance

1.      Δ must have intended П to be recipient of statement or should have expected П to be recipient.

                                                           iv.      the misrep must cause П to reasonably justifiably rely.  

1.      The П has to be deceived.  

2.      Δ only L for damages that could have rzbly be foreseen

3.      SEPARATE need for justifiable reliance – must be reasonable

4.      Opinion is not enough

5.      If statement is immaterial – that wouldn’t be sufficient

6.      w/ opinions, as a П objectively

7.      2 distinct (separate) elements

a.       Duty – П must show objectively that the utterer/Δ made a misrep or misstatement which a reasonable person would rely upon.

b.      Causation – П must show that he did rely upon the misstatement to his detriment.

8.      KEYS:

a.       Reasonable reliance

b.      Can’t shut your eyes to the existence of a given set of facts. 

                                                             v.      damages

1.      can recover for pecuniary losses (the benefit of the bargain). 

b.      Swinton v. Whitinsville

                                                               i.      RULE 1:  in an arms-length r’ship, one has no duty to disclose defects effecting value.

                                                             ii.      RULE 2:  Absent a fiduciary r’ship b/w the parties to a transaction, concealment of material facts does not give rise to the tort of misrep.

1.      Fid r’ship = special r’ship of trust and confidence b/w the parties which imposes certain legal duties one to the other.

                                                            iii.      You always have to establish first that their was a duty to disclose (if so, nonfeasance)

                                                           iv.      If you can’t show that, then you have to show that there was an active misrepresentation that caused me to rely (misfeasance).

c.       Griffith v. Byers Construction

                                                               i.      RULE 1: FM doesn’t require privity of K b/w representOR and representEE

                                                             ii.      RULE 2:  failure to disclose material fact known to ROR, and not discoverable to REE (makes it latent defect) is sufficient to establish misrepresentation

d.      Derry v. Peek

                                                               i.      Deceit requires scienter – that FM is made knowingly or without a belief in its truth OR with reckless carelessness as to its truth or falsity. 

                                                             ii.      Negligent misreps won’t be actionable – as long as it wasn’t made with known falsity

e.       Richard v. Waldman

                                                               i.      MIN RULE:  For cause of action Π must prove that the Δ:

1.      had the means to know

2.      should have known

3.      or has a duty to know the truth of the statement b/c there will be reliance on it

                                                             ii.      PP:  it’s your responsibility to know the truth – b/c of the r’ship you’re in. 

f.        Credit Alliance Corp v. Arthur Andersen

                                                               i.      RULE:  apart from K, an acctt owes a duty in negligence in making statements where the acctt and the person relying on his statements relies to his detriment and has a special r’ship with the acctt.

1.      Special r’ship:

1.      acctt is aware that info will be used for a particular purpose or purposes

2.      a known party/ies was intended to rely on it

3.      there was conduct on part of the acctts linking them to the 3d party

                                                             ii.      KEY:  Req’t of close nexis b/w the parties

g.       Citizen’s Bank v. Timm, Schmidt & Co

                                                               i.      RULE:  lack of privity doesn’t bar recovery

                                                             ii.      KEYS:

1.      4Cability

2.      acctt owes a duty of care to those who will foreseeably rely on the auditing of accounts

                                                            iii.      Heavy reliance on PP

1.      no deterrence

2.      relying 3d parties would go w/out remedy

3.      may increase cost on the general public – so, we should put burden on acct., where they can get covered by insurance. 

                                                           iv.      Court sets out 6 PPS that can limit L:

1.      injury too remote from negl

2.      injury too wholly out of proportion to the culpability of the negligent tortfeasor

3.      in retrospect it appears too highly extraordinary that the negl should have brought about the harm

4.      b/c allowance of recovery would place too unrzbl a burden on the negl tort-feasor

5.      b/c allowance of recovery would be too likely to open the way for fraudulent claims

6.      allowance of recovery would enter a field that has no sensible or just stopping point.

                                                             v.      These PPs will allow some people to not get a remedy.

h.       Ultramares

                                                               i.      No duty in negligence absent confidential fiduciary r’ship.

                                                             ii.      RULE:  There will be L for deceit where an inference of the required state of mind can be drawn from the Δs gross negligence.

i.         Williams v. Rank & Son Buick

                                                               i.      REASONABLE PERSON STD.  If representer knows of lack of understanding of П/receiver à then there is L.

                                                             ii.      RULE:  In an action for misrep, the П must establish that he rzbly relied upon the misrep.

                                                            iii.      Reliance test goes to causation

                                                           iv.      R’ship b/w parties has major influence on whether or not there was reasonable reliance – b/c PP won’t let one party take advantage of another if in close r’ship or in ???

                                                             v.      KEY:  no reasonable reliance, no duty

j.        Saxby v. Southern Land

                                                               i.      2 PRINCIPLES:

1.      that the representation must be a rep of FACT, rather than MERE OPINION.

2.      where you have indefinite statements, if П deems them to be material, then П has duty to make further inquiry.

                                                             ii.      KEY:  trade talk is speculative

k.      Vulcan Metals. V. Simmons Mfg.

                                                               i.      RULE 1:  the representations must be statements of fact, that one can reasonably rely upon. 

                                                             ii.      RULE 2:  some representations are mere opinions or puffing and cannot be relied upon for a c/a.

                                                            iii.      KEYS:

1.      S & V are cases where Пs could not rzbly rely on the representations.

a.       If info so critical, then you should make ind inquiry into accuracy of statements

2.      looking at magnificence of the machine = puffing, trade talk

3.      some statements that no reasonable person would ever rely upon – if you do, then you bear burden of your own gullibility.

4.      the court ultimately DOES want the responsibility to be on the party who’s best able to bear it – either П (representee) or Δ (representor)

5.      CL:  if you allow consumers ALL the speech, then they have lots of info and can make an intelligent decision.  That kind of talk will promote the product in a vigorous marketplace.

a.       Some statements so notoriously unreliable, that you are responsible for harm

b.      NOW, we’ve removed that CL presumption to some degree – b/c we have legislation (Consumer protection acts).  They show that we don’t’ believe that consumers will be able to remedy things by speech in the marketplace.

l.         Sorenson v. Gardner

                                                               i.      RULE:  Statement about law may imply facts upon which a c/a can be found for misrep.

                                                             ii.      There can be no c/a for fraud for misrep or for matters of law. 

1.      Every man is presumed to know the law so a П cannot say that he rzbly believed the statement made to him

2.      That a man, at least w/o special knowledge cannot be expected to know the law, and so П must have understood that Δ was giving him nothing but an opinion.

m.     McElrath v. Electric Investments

                                                               i.      RULE:  that a representation must be of a PRESENT fact, and not a future prediction.

n.       Burgdorfer

                                                               i.      RULE:  where one has no intent to do a future act, his statement to the contrary may constitute grounds for fraudulent misrepresentation

o.      Hinkle

                                                               i.      KEY:  you can get either remedy with FM (benefit of the bargain or out-of-pocket expenses)

1.      FM – using K law measure of damages, rather than tort measure of damages – b/c somewhat like a br/K.  So, there is a right of recovery. 

2.       

X.                 INJURIOUS FALSEHOOD

a.       ELEMENTS

                                                               i.      publication of a matter derogatory to the Пs title to his property or its quality or to his business in general or some element of his personal affairs - publication must be calculated to prevent others from dealing with the П, or otherwise interfere with (calculated to cause harm & places П at disadvantage)

                                                             ii.      communication to 3d party

                                                            iii.      communication must play material and substantial part in inducing others not to K with the П.

                                                           iv.      statement must be false – truthful publication will be protected no matter what the motive is for publishing it

1.      PP

a.       Don’t want to unrzbly restrain free speech.

b.      Consumers have right to info so they can make reasonably informed decisions

                                                             v.      П must plead and prove special damages – if no special dgs, then no other kinds of dgs

                                                           vi.      П must show pecuniary loss that he's already experienced b/c of IF (i.e. specific loss of sales)

1.      TX – mental distress alone not enough

2.      П can get legal fees

3.      П can get any expenses he incurs for having to advertise to dissuade ppl from statement

4.      Can recover for loss of perspective Ks

b.      Privileges

                                                               i.      Qualified (if П shows AM, then Δ loses privilege àL) VERSUS absolute (judicial proceedings, leg discussion... even if AM)  If П has consented to disparagement, then no right to a c/a.

c.       Remedies

                                                               i.      Punitive damages – if showing of malice in fact (actual malice or improper purpose)

                                                             ii.      Injunction –

1.      BUT, TX says an inj for disparagement of products cannot be enforced

d.      Ratcliffe

                                                               i.      claim for IF requires proof of special damage

e.       Horning v. Hardy

                                                               i.      PRINCIPLES

1.      IF claim to property req’s a П to prove unprivileged false assertions amounting to a taint on title

a.       Showing

å      (S) speaking w/ knowing falsity so as to defame another or (S) who acts with reckless disregard or acts negligently in failing to ascertain the facts

å      can show motivation b/c of spite – and that you act to harm (S) else

å      KEY:  know statement is false whether motivated by malice or not

f.        Testing Systems

                                                               i.      RULE:  assertions to the П customers or prospective customers about the superiority of the Δs product may be sufficiently factual in nature to allow a c/a for IF or product disparagement (puffing okay, facts not)

XI.              IEKR – Δ who intentionally interferes with a valid K b/w other parties

a.       Lumley

                                                               i.      П must show:

1.      valid K or economic expectancy b/w П and a 3rd party (R. § 766(a)-(b))

2.      Δ has to have knowledge of the valid K or economic expectancy

a.       he knows that valid K exists OR

b.      he has enough facts to demonstrate that he knows the K exists

3.      intent to interfere

a.       std language is “purposeful interference”

b.      others say you can show that you interfered with substantial certainty that interference would occur

4.      interference must be caused by the Δ

5.      damages – economic, mental distress, punitive – based on malice

b.      Adler v. Estein

                                                               i.      Interference w/ Kual r’ships in 2 ways

1.      p. 1099 - R.2d § 767 factors to determine WHEN interference is improper

2.      Contrary to social norms

c.       Brimelow v. Cassom

                                                               i.      DEFENSE - You may have a justification to induce the br/a K if it’s in the public good/interest

                                                             ii.      REMEDIES:  you have rt to punitive dgs if Δs actions were intentional and without justification (privilege)

1.      Can get consequential dgs too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1.a

 

Public Figures & Officials

Private Figures

Public Concern

Private Figure

Private Concern

Fault

Actual Malice

Negligence

Strict Liability

Presumed Damages

Yes

No

Yes

Falsity: Burden of Proof

Media Δ: Π has BOP

Non-Media Δ: Π has BOP

Media Δ: Π has BOP

Non-Media Δ: we do not have the answer

Dunn & Bradstreet (Π)?

 

 


OUTLINE ON PRODUCTS LIABILITY

 

XII.           PRODUCTS LIABILITY –

L of a mfr, seller, or other supplier of chattels, to one w/ whom he is not in privity of K, who suffers physical harm caused by the chattel:  through mfr’s negligence of warranty

a.       4 THEORIES TO RECOVERY

                                                               i.            Negligence

                                                             ii.            Br/wty: Xpress/imp

                                                            iii.            SL: Liability w/o fault

                                                           iv.            Fraudulent misrep

b.      Reasons Against:

                                                               i.            Keep goods out of mrkt place

                                                             ii.            Inhibit the development of prod

                                                            iii.            Create unreasonable tort taxes

                                                           iv.            Not a good plan for making prod safer

c.       PP: Critical is fairnessàbalancing the harms of the K (normally relieves the mfr from L)

i.            Negligence: same as b/4 except for causation prong

1.      D created an unreasonable risk of harm to one who uses the prod or one who might foreseeably be injured by using the prod

2.      NEED:  P must prove

a.       Conduct on part of mfr

b.      Injury or harm to P's person or property

åAccident itself

åProduct changes

åR.I.L.

c.       Causation b/w behavior and injury

åLimited by 4Cability

3.      Learned Hand Theory:  B <PL à L (economic argument – risk utility)

a.       Cost benefit analysis—similar to Caroll v. Towing

4.      PP: seeking to compensate for the loss of others lack of due care

a.       MacPherson Buick (wheel) – MAJ rule now

åIssue of foreseeability: probable that the item will be shared by more than the initial buyer—if you know then responsible for any injuries that occur

åP neg remedy against mfr w/o regard to privity of K.

åFinished products seller’s responsibility for design and mfrg integrity of component parts

åMfr’s duty to conduct reasonable and necessary tests on product before its introduction into commerce

ii.            Br/wty – arise out of K law

1.      3 types of warranties:

a.       express warranties

b.      implied warranties

åmerchantability

åparticularized purpose

2.      P must prove:

a.       Promise was made in regard to prod

b.      Specific promise

c.       Reliance on the promise

d.      Causal connection of the breach and the P’s injury

3.      Express wtys:  no disclaimer, no ads

a.       Material representation of fact on the prod

b.      Basis of bargain

c.       Seller has duty to show that buyer had no reliance on rep (hard to do)

d.      Baxter v. Ford (glass shattering)

åRule: under the circumstances where you are relying on the mfr representations then the mfr is liable to consumer even though was purchased from a 3rd party

åKey: if you supply materials to the distributor/salespersons, then you are liable

åCaveat Emptor (let the buyer beware)—warning is rejected when it is unfair for a mfr to be able to rep qualities not there and not be liable

åRemoves privity roadblock for buyers

åPP:  protects the party in most need of compensation

4.      Implied wtys—prod was fit for an ordinary purpose; not the use for which you purposed it but is w/in the realm of the area (ex: chair)

a.       Henningson v. Bloomfield (removes privity)

åHorizontal privity: extends to all persons who would use that item (purchaser, child, spouse, other members of HH)

åVertical privity: relationship btwn the parties who are putting together the items, dealer, retailer, and end consumer

åPP:

1.      Protection for the buyer

2.      Mfr controls the danger and is best to bear it b/c they have the ability to inspect it and are in the position to make equitable remedies

b.      Merchantability 2-314

åSeller is a merchant

åFit for ordinary purpose

åP arguing that there was a failure on mfr to foresee that the prod would be used for other????

c.       Fitness for a particularized purpose 2-315

åBuyer (expressed or imp) asks the seller having specialized knowledge to recommend a prod suitable for their needs

1.      buyer has the right to rely on the expert seller

2.      seller liable if says the prod will do something and doesn’t

d.      Disclaimers

åConspicuousness

å“As is” disclaimers

 

iii.            Strict Liability – L w/o fault (look at the handout and review)

1.      Reasons for SL:

a.       To difficult to prove negligence against a mfr

b.      SL provides an effective and necessary incentive to mfr to make their products as safe as possible

c.       Some cases have gotten around negligence when it is not present by using res ipsaànot good

d.      Reputable mfrs do repair and replace their prodàbenefit from this

e.       Mfr is in better position to protect against the harm

f.        Costs of accidents should be placed on the party best able to determine whether there is a means to prevent the accident

 

402A (2nd)

Restatement 3rd (majority)

  • You can recover if:
  1. Defective product
  2. Was used in a manner intended
  3. P was injured as a result
  4. Mfr had knowledge that the product was to be used w/o inspection of defects
  • Does not make mfr an insurer
  • Seller of prod in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to seller/consumer is subject to liability for physical harm to ultimate user/consumer or his property if:

a.       Seller is engaged in the business of selling a product AND

b.      It is expected to and does reach the consumer w/o subst change in the cond sold

  • Rule:

a.       Even though seller exercised all possible care in prep/sale of the product AND

b.      User/consumer didn’t buy the prod or K with seller

  • Law believes mfr has the ability to 4C some hazards

àThe ability to guard against them

            àThe ability to insure against the risk of injury and spread cost of risk avoidance to customers

 

  • §1àProduct Defectiveness—liability of commercial seller or distributor for harm caused by defective products

a.       one engaged in the business of selling or otherwise distributing prod who sells or distributes a defective prod is subj to L to persons or property caused by the defect

b.      a prod is defective when at the time of sale or distrib, it contains a mfr defect, is defective in design, or is defective b/c of inadequate instructions or warnings

  • §2 àdefinition of defects

a.       Mfr. Defect—prod departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and mrktg of the product

  1. Design Defect—when the 4Cable risks of harm posed by the prod could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design by seller, distributor or predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and the omission of the alternative design renders the product not unreasonably safe
  2. Defect b/c of inadequate instruction warning—when 4Cable risks of harm posed by the prod could have been reduced or avoided by providing reasonable instructions or warnings by the seller, other distributor, or a predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and omission of the instruction or warning renders the prod unreasonably safe

 

  • Defenses—“state of the art” at the time of mfr of the product

a.       refers to the existing level of technology, expertise and scientific knowledge

    1. justifies places prod on the mrkt

 

d.      402A (Restatement 2nd)– seller of product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to user/consumer is subject to L for physical harm to ultimate user/consumer or his property

i.            Greenman – mfr is strictly liable when an article he places on the market, knowing it is to be used w/o inspection for defects, that causes injury

ii.            Only 3 categories:

1.      Mfr Defect

a.       Something went wrong with a unit or a few units (assembly line mistake)

b.      Product departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product

åEx: toes in milk

2.      Design Defect

a.       Every unit is defective

b.      when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design by seller, distributor, or predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and the omission of the alternative design renders the product not unrzbly safe

åEx: gas tank in the wrong place

1.      Rix case goes here

2.      Prentis??

3.      Marketing Defect (failure to warn)

a.       Failure to warn or adequately warn

b.      when the 4Cable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by providing reasonable instructions or warnings by the seller, other distributor, or a predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and omission of the instruction or warning renders the product unrzbly safe.

iii.            Greenman v. Yuba

1.      Mfr is SL when the article he places on the market knowing that it would be used w/o inspecting for defects, proves to have defects which cause injuries to a human being

2.      P can recover against mfr w/o proof of fault if:

a.       Defect product

b.      Product used in manner it was intended to be used

c.       P injured as result of defect

d.      Knowledge by mfr that product would be used w/o inspection for defects

3.      PP – cost borne by mfr, rather than by the injured party who is powerless to protect himself.

4.      P must simply show the causal connection, but not fault

a.       P must show was injured using the tool in a way intended for it to be used and as a result of the design/mfr defect which the P was not aware, he was injured b/c it was not safe for the particular use

iv.            Risk/utility test

1.      only rzbly safe products should be marketed (utility > risk)

e.       Restatement 3rd: Product Defectiveness

i.            L of commercial seller or distributor for harm caused by defective products

1.      one engaged in the business of selling or otherwise distributing products who sells or distributes a defective product is subject to L for harm to persons or property caused by the defect

2.      a product is defective when, at time of sale or distribution, it contains a mfr defect, is defective in design, or is defective b/c of inadeq instructions or warnings

ii.            Definition of defects

1.      mfr defect – product departs from its intended design even though all possible care was exercised in the preparation and marketing of the product

a.       Rix v. General Motors Corp: (Restatement 2nd

åRule: a mfr is strictly liable if it sells a prod in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous to the consumer and it causes injury (causal connection btwn injury and prod)

1.      Prod must be defective when sold

2.      It must be expected to and actually reach the consumer w/o substantial change in the defective condition

3.      Condition is the proximate cause of the injury

 

2.      design defect – when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design by seller, distributor, or predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and the omission of the alternative design renders the product not unrzbly safe

a.       3 basics tests for DD:

åConsumer Expectation (o’brien) [MAJ]

1.      Would the average reasonable consumer using the product be aware of the risks inherent in the product?

åMfrs Expectations

1.      If the mfr knew of the defect causing harm to P would he have been reasonable in introducing the prod into the stream of commerce?

2.      D can argue misuse of prod

åRisk Utility Analysis

1.      Looks like negligence but not quite—proves the cost efficiency and the knowledge in the industry (making a product safer)

 

b.      Prentis v. Yale Mfg:

åKey: when talking about design defects, they should be analyzed by a negligence standard when the risk of injury outweigh the costs of design

åRisk utility test: we should mrkt only reasonably safe products and we determine this by determining whether the utility outweighs the inherent risks (provided risk had been reduced to the greatest extent possible)

c.       O’brien v. Muskin Group

åRule: P bears the burden that the prod was defective using a risk utility analysis

åP must show

1.      Prod was defective

2.      Defect was present when prod left mfr’s hand

3.      Defect caused the injury to a reasonably foreseeable user

åTX still allows state of the art in Risk Utility Analysis

åRisk/utility factors: (O’brien)

1.      Utility of product to the general public and to the specific user

2.      The likelihood it will cause injury

3.      Potential for designing a safer product that is functional/rzbly priced

4.      Availability of a safer design

5.      P's ability to avoid harm by safer use of the product

6.      The degree of awareness of the product’s danger which can be attributed to D

åMfr’s ability to spread cost related improving safety design.  STOPPED

3.      Failure to Warn: defect due to inadequate instruction/warning – when the 4Cable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by providing reasonable instructions or warnings by the seller, other distributor, or a predecessor in the commercial chain of distribution, and omission of the instruction or warning renders the product unrzbly safe.

a.       P wants ct to use a standard which says D should have known the prod was dangerous and should have warned

åLooks at state of the art

åSays D can prove that a given risk was neither known or knowable by the relevant scientific knowledge available at the time of mfr/distribàpart of the SPL analysis

åWD can be under negligence or PL

åD can argue that risks weren’t knowable or known at the time

b.      Anderson v. Owens-Corning Fiberglass:

åMAJ Rule: state of the art evidence is allowed to show evidence on what the warning should be

åMIN Rule: knowability requirement and admission of State of the art evidence, improperly infuses negligence concepts into SL cases by directing the trier of fact’s attention to the conduct of the mfr or distributor rather than to the condition of the prod

åPP: alleviate the burden off of an already powerless consumer, but not making the mfr the insurer of the prod

åKey: if mfr doesn’t warn and something goes wrong, then L based on his knowledge of a possibility of a defect

åKey: giving the P the choice to use or not use the prod

åIf reasonable minds would differ on whether a warning was appropriate, then up to the jury to decide

åTX: no duty to warn of obvious dangers or of risks that are generally known (MAJ)

åSome cases have both DD and WDàa good warning can’t overcome a DD

åThere is a duty to warn if an ingredient is one that a substantial # of people are allergic

åCan’t always require a warning b/c will dilute the impact of the warnings

åLearned intermediary Rule: generally applies with drs and prescription drugs

1.      duty to warn patient as to the drug the dr is prescribing

2.      where an ER has purchased the prod which causes EE injury—ER is in the best position to warn his EE about the dangers of the prod

3.      After acquired knowledge (AAK)àgenerally P can’t use AAK to prove D liable under SPL

4.      BUT P can use AAK in negligence claims to prove D’s Liability

åRisks discovered after the sale

1.      what is the mfr’s duty to the consumer after the prod is sold and D learns of a defect in the prod?

a.       reasonableness standard—balancing the factors

 

 

4. Fraudulent Misrepresentation

4.      402B

a.       not puffing

b.      “to the public” – not on showroom

c.       П must prove:

åJustifiable reliance – knowledge

åInjury

 

f.        FAILURE TO WARN THEORY

i.            FIND these 4 theories:

1.      Mismanufacture – it has been improperly mfr’d; somewhere along the line the mfr did not put it together well

2.      Defect of design – entire line was dangerous

3.      Failure to give adequate warning

4.      Failure to give proper instruction

ii.            Negl – if harm w/out warnings is significant or unrzbl – harm & probability against cost to warn

iii.            SL – product that reasonable man wouldn’t have put in soc if he knew of harmful character

iv.            Br/wty – 4Cable danger – at time of sale

g.       DEFENSES

i.            Warning (req’t: seller has duty that if not subject of timely and adequate notice, expose purchaser, user or bystander to an unrzbl risk/harm)

ii.            no warning of sure 3d arty or buyer will give info to user

1.      Exception:  RXs

2.      NSSA – Nature of risk, Severity, Scope, means of Avoidance

iii.            Пs contr/negl – not in jrds w/ comp. fault (no failure to discover defect)

iv.            Пs ass/risk – subjective knowledge

v.            Misuse (àpxcx—no c/a)

1.      must be substantial

vi.            comp. fault – see ii. Above

 

 

 

 

OUTLINE ON DEFAMATION

 

XIII.        DEFAMATION – see fig. 1a

a.       KEYS:  DO NOT FORGET – THROUGHOUT ANSWER

                                                   i.      Average reciprocity of advantage arg

                                                 ii.      1AM protection

                                                iii.      self-censorship

                                               iv.      free exchange in marketplace of ideas (robust discussion, etc)

1.      chilling effect

b.      Def: a communication that tends to damage a P’s reputation more or less in the popular sense to diminish the respect, goodwill, confidence or esteem in which he is held

c.       Nature of Defamatory Communication

                                                   i.            Interpretation: if there is only one interpretation then the judge decides the impact of the statement; if there is more than one then it if for the jury to decide

                                                 ii.            Standard: words that tend to expose the P to hatred, ridicule, distrust, contempt, obloquy; now includes shunned and avoided

                                                iii.            Considerations:

1.      the audience

2.      circumstances surrounding what was being said

3.      by whom it might be read and interpreted

d.      Libel & Slander

                                                   i.            Slander: spoken and often requires a showing of special damages (SSS) unless slander per se (Terwilliger v. Wands)

1.      Restatement 2nd §568 def: publication of defamatory matter by spoken words transitory gestures or by any form of communication other than those stated in libel

2.      CL slander actionable if you could show special damages of pecuniary harm

                                                 ii.            Libel: written

1.      Restatement 2nd §568 def: publication of defamatory matter by written or printed words by its embodiment and physical form or by any other form of communication which has the potentially harmful qualities, and characteristic of written or printed words

2.      Def: any publication which exposes a person to distrust, hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy

                                                iii.            Belli v. Orlando Daily Newspapers (libel per se)

1.      Rule: the judge has the task of deciding whether the pleading is capable of defamatory meaning, the jury has the job of deciding whether the material should be regarded as defamatory. The gatekeeper is the judge

a.       If only one meaning: then it is libel per se

b.      If there is more than one meaning: then it may be libel and goes to jury

2.      Key: we are not looking at the hateful words, we are looking at the effect of the words on the person and on his reputation which prevents him from engaging in social discourse

3.      Libel def: any publication which exposes a person to distrust, hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy

4.      Libel à publication is actionable if:

a.       Any false and unprivileged publication by letter or otherwise

b.      Such that its natural and proximate consequence necessarily causes injury to a person in his personal, social, official, or business relations or life

c.       Wrong and injury are presumed and implied

5.      Libel per se def: statement is defamatory on its face and only have one meaning

                                               iv.            Grant v. Readers Digest

1.      Rule: the standard for determining whether a statement is libelous is not whether the majority of people or “right thinking” view it as such, instead it is if some people find it libelous even if the group is a “wrong thinking” group or the minority

2.      Pleading:

a.       Clear meaning (Simple): when you have a meaning that defames and the words and language themselves are clear on its face then the P has to prove that the words themselves were defamatory and that you are pleading that these words were communicated to a 3rd party [key for defamation cases]

b.      Ambiguous meaning (Form and Substance):

1.      must have defamatory words

2.      must show publication or communication to a 3rd party

3.      have to look at the extrinsic facts to understand if the meaning of the statement was made to defame the  P (inducement)

4.      must be a formal allegation that the words were spoken concerning the P (colloquim)

5.      must be a particular defamatory meaning meant by the words (innuendo)

6.      show that there are some special damages

c.       Key: have to have 4 and 5 together, so that they are read in light of the spoken facts and what you pleaded, they have to come together to have someone believe that something defamatory was said

                                                 v.            Killian v. Dblday:

1.      Key: the truth or key of truth is an absolute defense.  D doesn’t have to show that it is completely true, only that it is substantially true

2.      Truth or key of truth is an affirmative defense to libel

                                               vi.            Neiman Marcus v. Lait:

1.      Rule: Where you have stmts about a class, there must be some particular circumstance which points to the P that is defamed

2.      Rule: Where the group or class libeled is large, none can sue even though the language used is inclusive

3.      Rule: where the group or class libeled is small, and each and every member of the group or class is referred to then any individual member can sue

4.      Key: You must be able to identify the large group

5.      PP:

a.       Trying to prevent a floodgate of litigation

b.      Trying to make people have a thicker skin

6.      McCullough Test: size alone is not determinative but an important factor in determining the intensity of suspicion that was cast upon the P

7.      Any living person can be defamed but no actionable defamation for the dead since no living person’s reputation is defamed.

8.      If the defamation of the dead also defames the living you may have a cause of action

                                              vii.            Bindrim v. Mitchell:

1.      Rule: to establish a cause of action for libel, the P must show that the reasonable person who read the publication could identify it as a stmt about the P

2.      Rule: Not important that all readers identify the stmt as being about the P, it is enough that even one person identifies the stmt as being about the P

3.      PP: okay to have a chilling effect on novels if it chills defamatory language

                                            viii.            Shor v. Billingsley:

1.      Rule: where you have libel over the radio which is not read from a prepared script, you can still have libel, this kind of libel is actionable per se.  You have a right to bring it, but you do not have to prove special damages

2.      ad-libbing à libel

3.      read from written script à libel

4.      speaking in a gym à slander

5.      defamation by radio à libel

                                               ix.            Terwilliger v. Wands  (Slander)

1.      Slander àmust show special damages

2.      Rule: if the slanderous statement is not actionable per se – meaning  facially damaging to П – then it is necessary that the П prove (plead and prove) some particular damages happened

3.      Rule:  the statement has to be disparaging to the Пs character and the special damage must flow from the damage to Пs character

4.      Ex: loss of marriage, loss of hospitable gratuitous entertainment, preventing a servant/bailiff from getting a place, loss of customers by a trademenàwhenever a person is prevented from receiving what would otherwise be conferred upon him is suff

5.      Slander per se: exceptions to the general CL rule and actionable w/o proof of special damages

a.       Business, trade, profession of office – likely to affect your office or profession and some temporal damages that come with that.

b.      Loathsome disease – people recognize you to be excluded from society (VD, leprosy – today, AIDS)

c.       Imputation of major crime – crime must be one of moral turpitude

d.      Sexual misconduct

6.      Libel per se and Libel per quod

a.       Libel per se—one meaning, more objective

b.      Libel per quod—requires special damages and is more subjective (same as libel now but we don’t require special damage)

                                                 x.            Economopoulos v. AG Pollard

1.      Rule: Publication is a the communication of the defamatory words to one other than the person defamed

a.       If accidentally overheard then not publication

b.      If said with the reasonable expectation of being overheard then can be considered publication

2.      Rule: For there to be a publication of a slander stmt, it must be spoken in the presence of others and the hearer must understand it

3.      Key: D is not liable for publication if stmt made only to the P and if the P repeats the stmt then the P bears the responsibility

4.      Key: focus on the words

5.      Email: can be considered either libel or slander but usually slander

                                               xi.            Ogden v. Association of the US Army

1.      Rule: Publication of a book, periodical, or a newspaper containing defamatory matter gives rise to but one cause of action for libel which accrues at the time of the original publication and statute of limitations runs from that date

e.       Basis for Liability: Proving L for Defamation 

                                                   i.            Malice: For defamation action, P must prove that the D intended to defame him and that he was inspired by malice—in sense of spite, ill will, or a desire to do harm

                                                 ii.            Factual malice: Not necessary for finding defamation but can come into dealing with punitive damages

                                                iii.            Actual malice: NY Times standard

                                               iv.            Secondary publishersàgenerally not L if had no knowledge

                                                 v.            Internet providers who provide opportunity to post bulletin boards—can’t be held L

                                               vi.            Not a 2ndary source:

1.      Newspaper or book publishing company

2.      Republication of items received from wire services aren’t subj to L:

a.       Service is reputable

b.      D didn’t know the falsity

c.       Story itself doesn’t reveal its falsity

d.      No substantial change was made to the story

f.        Public Official and Public Concern

                                                   i.            NY Times v. Sullivan

1.      Rule: When talking about a public official he can’t obtain damages for defamatory conduct that was written about his job unless he can show that there was actual malice

2.      Public Officials is whether the position in gov’t has such apparent importance that the public has an independent interest in the qualifications and performance of the person who holds it, beyond the general public interest in the qualifications and performance of all gov’t employees

3.      Public Figures aren’t the same as public official—one who holds himself out in the public eye

4.      PP: average reciprocity of advantage

a.       Right of free speech and robust uninhibited debate

b.      Private citizen bears the burden so that there is a free flow of ideas

c.       Allows the mrkt place of ideas at the cost of a public official

5.      Rule: Actual malice with knowledge that the stmt is false or made with reckless disregard as to whether it is false

6.      Fair Comment Rule: privilege that allows for criticism or comment

                                                 ii.            St. Amant v. Thompson

1.      Rule: Whether the speaker entertained serious doubt, as to the truth to his publication publishing with such doubt shows reckless disregard to truth and falsity and demonstrates actual malice

2.      Rule: Publisher can’t rely solely on his belief that the stmt is true

3.      PP: can’t shut your eyes to the given facts

                                                iii.            Masson v. NY Magazine

1.      Rule: To prove actual malice, the P must show that the D acted with reckless malice and knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard to the truth

2.      Rule: A deliberate alteration of the words spoken by the P doesn’t equal knowledge of falsity unless it results in a material change conveyed in the original statement

3.      Rule: Using quotations marks to attribute words not in fact spoken is important to the inquiries of knowing falsity but it is not dispositive in every case

4.      Key: must be more than mere negligence; recklessness is the higher standard

5.      Defamation w/o damage to your reputation is not actionable

g.       Public Concern /Private Individual

                                                   i.            Gertz

1.      Standards

a.       A newspaper or publishers that publish defamatory information that is neither a public official or public figure may be held to a lower standard than that of NY Times standard of actual malice

b.      The state so long as it does not impose liability w/o fault, may define for itself the appropriate standard of liability for a publisher or broadcaster of defamatory falsehood that injures a private person

c.       The state may not permit presumed or punitive damages unless liability is based on actual malice (NY Times standard)

                                                             ii.            private П, public concern à no P&P

                                                            iii.            4 main points

a.       No AM needed for private citizen

b.      Rt/recovery of punitive dgs only w/ AM

c.       b/c of case, you may become a PF in a limited way

                                                           iv.            AM or lower than AM are acceptable in ©al limits

h.       Private Concern/Private Individual

                                                   i.            Dun & Bradstreet

1.      private П, private concern à P&P okay

2.      Rule:  where you have matters of purely private concern, they receive less 1AM protection

3.      Rule:  a person can recover for P&P w/out showing of AM when statement doesn’t involve a matter of public concern

4.      KEY:  Δ is not media – so not same kind of protection

                                                 ii.            Philadelphia Newspapers

1.      Rule:  where you have a newspaper that publishes speech of public concern, than a private figure П can't recover dgs w/out also showing statements at issue are false

2.      Keys:

a.       In terms of proving falsity, BOP is on П

b.      Where you have a newspaper that publishes speech of a public concern, a private figure П cannot recover damages w/out showing that the statements at issue are false.

i.         Opinion

                                                   i.            Milkovich v. Lorain

1.      Rule: Opinion doesn’t receive additional or absolute constitutional protection and immunity from liability for defamation

2.      Rule: Statement on matters of public concern must be provable as false before there can be liability under state defamation laws where the media is the D

3.      Rule: Statements that can’t reasonable be interpreted as stating actual fact about a person are protected

4.      Rule: Where a statement of opinion on matters of public concern reasonably imply false or defamatory facts regarding a public official or figure then the P still has to show actual malice

5.      Rule: Where the statement involves a private figure on matters of public concern, the P still must prove that the false statements and false connotations were made with some level of fault.

6.      4 Factors to look at

1.      specific language used

2.      whether the stmt is verifiable

3.      general context of the stmt

4.      broader context in which the stmt appeared

o       Goes to the totality of the circumstances

j.        Defenses

                                                               i.      TRUTH – affirmative defense – only have to prove substantially true (but more than showing S has bad character)

                                                             ii.      OPINION

                                                            iii.      PRIVILEGE

k.      Privileges

                                                               i.      Absolute – judges, attys, juries, witnesses, admin proceeding – AS LONG AS RELATED

1.      П doesn't have a civil remedy, but may have a criminal remedy

                                                             ii.      Qualified

1.      Sindorf v. Jacron

a.       Rule:  publication of a defamatory statement may be conditionally privileged when it is fairly made by a person in the discharge of some public or private duty, whether legal or moral, and in the conduct of its own affairs it matters where his interests are concerned

b.      Rule:  any reasonable and appropriate method of publication may be adopted which fits the purpose of protecting a particular interest

c.       Rule:  Δ has BOP that there is a proper interest of duty that justifies publishing this statement

d.      Rule:  the privilege can be lost if the statement is improperly made and to determine whether or not that is correct – you look at all relevant circumstances

e.       Courts look at:

å      did you reasonably believe in that statement?

å      did you say more than you had to say in conveying info

å      was what you said unsolicited/volunteered?

å      did you make that communication in proper manner to proper parties?

1.      If voluntarily given à close scrutiny on what was done

f.        At CL, you were allowed to spread rumor

l.         Remedies

                                                         i.            Libel per se à CL presumed dgs

                                                       ii.            D&B à private party/private concern à P&P (w/out AM)

                                                      iii.            Slander à must show special dgs (MIPS – mental anguish & suffering, impairment of reputation, personal humiliation, and standing in communication)

                                                     iv.            Mitigation à MIN: if П provoked Δ, then mitigate dgs – Moore disagrees with this

                                                       v.            Doctrine of incremental harm (MIN) – try to figure out impact of defamation - look at state of Пs reputation once a non-actionable portion of statements and what he failed to plead – look at the big picture

                                                     vi.            Punitive dgs

1.      Gertz – need AM

2.      D&B – private П, private concern

                                                    vii.            Declaratory relief à П must show falsity & fault